If you are unsure how to advertise your blog This article is perfect for you. There are a lot of individuals with blogs especially in our industry, but many of them struggle to gain comments and traffic. There are three main reasons for this:
- They didn’t make the necessary steps to set up their blog properly, and they did not have an initial Blog Promotion Strategy
- They don’t have a continuous blog Promotion Strategy
- They do not blog consistently.
I’m going to address these issues in detail and give you a systematic procedure, so you be able to follow the steps step-by-step on how to promote your blog.
How to Promote Your Blog – A Systematic Approach
I’m going to make an assumption in this case that if trying to promote your blog, that you’re using self-hosted wordpress blogs. It is not your blog on wordpress.com. Your site is hosted by your own domain, meaning the hosting costs are paid with a hosting service such as HostGator or Dreamhost. Nor are you using an Blogger.com blog or Drupal or Joomla website. There’s no reason to think that Drupal or Joomla aren’t good, I’m just not that familiar with these formats and I want to remain within my domain of knowledge. Self-hosted WordPress blogs are pretty much the norm for our business for their ease of use, flexibility, and expandability, so if you are not using one I suggest you do so as soon as is practical.
A blog’s strategy for promotion will be divided into two phases, as well as two articles. This first article will cover Phase 1, which is the first Blog Promotion Strategy. This is a once-in-a-lifetime moment that occurs prior to when you begin to regularly blog to make sure that you have all the necessary plugins installed, and that you’ve taken the appropriate measures to ensure your blog is in good shape to be promoted.
The followup article will cover Phase 2 of the ongoing blog promotion Strategy. This is a checklist you must complete every when you write a blog post, to ensure you get exposure, traffic in the form of comments, opt-ins shares as well as decent search engine ranking. I won’t go too deep into SEO in this post, however I do plan to write a second article on my top tips to optimize your blog content for search engine optimization. Now that we have this in mind, let’s proceed to the first step.
Promoting Your Blog – Phase 1: Initial Promotion Strategy
- Set up an ping list: A Ping list is a list of websites that are listening for new content that is posted on the web. One of your first actions is to establish your ping list by copying the list of ping service providers that WordPress provides. You can locate a useful list on wordpress.org. Once you copy that list you paste it in the “Writing” section of your WordPress blog’s settings. In your dashboard, go to Settings > Writing and then paste the list in the section titled “Update Services’ and that’s it. When you publish your blog’s latest post the following services will be informed and you’ll start seeing the traffic coming for your website.
- Set up Feedburner: Feedburner allows for your readers to sign up to your new blog content. You want those who love your blog to come back to your website, and Feedburner provides them with a means to subscribe to your blog and be notified whenever you update your blog material. This will bring you more visitors than those who had to keep track of your blog by themselves. To set up Feedburner just go to feedburner.com and create an account. You’ll have to enter the URL of your feed which is, most of the time, will just be yourdomain.com/feed. There are other configuration options to experiment with, but when you submit your feed to feedburner, you’re pretty much prepared for subscribers to sign up to the new content you’ve added.
- Install a reputable SEO Plugin: There are several paid and free Plugins which help ensure that every blog post you write about has certain characteristics that will make it more attractive to search engines. I am at present using WordPress SEO with Yoast, which is a no-cost plugin. Another good option is SEO Pressor, which is a paid alternative, but it offers more features and automated. These plugins make sure that your SEO on the web is in good order.
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- Send your Blog and RSS feed to directories The intention behind submitting your RSS Blog and Feed to directories is exactly the same as keeping a pinglist. It is a good idea to submit your RSS feed and URL in order to inform directories of the fact of the existence of your blog and to update them with the latest content. These directories are browsed by readers that are looking for the type of content you offer. The most important aspect of this procedure is to make sure you submit your site to the right category to align the content you publish to your intended audience. A quick search on Google reveals an abundance of directories for RSS and blogs available to submit your site and feed. There are free as well as paid options. Some websites will require reciprocal links. There are companies that submit these directories for you which could be an excellent deal, if your budget allows.
- Sign up as a the Social Bookmarking Accounts:Social Bookmarking will be similar to bookmarking within your browser but instead you do it publically on a web page. The pages you bookmark available to people who have the same interests on that website. In turn, those with whom you share interests can be notified of your latest blog posts as you bookmark them. This drives visitors to your website since they are interested in the same things as you and would probably be interested in the content you’re reading or saving. One suggestion for social bookmarking is to not only bookmark your own publications, so as to not look self-serving. Make sure that you are authentic with the articles you save. You should also save articles from multiple sources that are not your own. It is also essential to reach out and network with the people on the social media platforms to ensure your audience grows and you get more traffic. Some of the most popular social bookmarking websites are reddit, digg and stumbleupon and delicious. Diigo and hubpages. These sites are slowly being overtaken by Facebook and Twitter as the go-to sharing sites, however they’re still useful for getting traffic.
- Sign up for a Social Bookmarking Automation Tools: There are tools that will automate your submission to various social bookmarking sites you’ll be posting content to. One of the top tools out is Onlywire. Utilizing Onlywire can drastically cut down on the time required to log on to each social bookmarking site and manually publish your bookmark. Once you’ve created your accounts on the various social bookmarking websites You can basically change all your bookmarks with the click of one button. There’s a no-cost version as well as a paid version Onlywire. The primary difference is that the free version is restricted to the number in monthly submitted submissions. It’s best to begin with on the basic version till you’ve gotten used to the platform and you are able to get all of your accounts set up. If you are able to start promoting your blog frequently, then you might consider upgrading to a paid edition.
- Set up an Autoresponder Service and set up Blog Broadcasts: One of the main ways you will get the same traffic to your website is by sending your email subscribers a Blog Broadcast. There are several main choices of autoresponder services. The most popular services utilized by network marketers is GetResponse. I personally utilize Aweber but it suits my needs fine. They are pretty much equivalent in terms of features at all price levels. After choosing one, you’ll have to add an opt-in page on your website which you’ll use to gather your subscribers’ email addresses (or name and email). It is necessary to offer an offer of some kind to get the majority of people to give you their name and email. The prize should be something irresistible to the prospect, like an audio file, the form of an ebook, or video that provides them important information. It is also possible to provide the prospect with a guideline that teaches them how to fix a problem they’re facing. Once they opt in to your list and give you your email address you will be able to email them Blog Broadcasts via an autoresponder system. The Blog Broadcast an automated or semi-automated message that is sent to your subscriber list that includes the contents of your blog post. You coordinate it by linking your autoresponder service with the feed feed for your blog’s RSS; it then begins to listen for blog posts that are new. If it gets notified that you’ve written a new post and is ready to forward the post to your mailing list automatically. The best way to do this, and the way that I prefer to use it is to make sure that the emails are queued to send, but I need to let the email go out to my list before it is sent out. This gives me the option to modify the email slightly so they read better and to tailor them for my customers. I would not suggest that you set the blog’s broadcast to fully automated.
Blog Promotion – The Rest of It…
In this post, we’ve learned about what is known as the Initial Strategy of blog promotion. We outlined the initial action steps to take in advance to make sure your blog is setup for communication with the websites and services that it requires as you publish your articles. In a subsequent article, we will review an ongoing blog Promotion Strategy, which is your day-to-day routine of steps to take following the publish each blog post. A well-constructed continuous Blog Promotion strategy will give you the maximum exposure to your audience. A good strategy will help you increase your site’s traffic, increase the quality of your hyperlinks, and improve your authority and reputation through search engines. Happy blogging!
Nate Jackson is a loving husband and father of four beautiful girls. A Mechanical Engineer with an B. S. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT, Nate has successfully moved into the world of online marketing. He has made it his mission to ensure that new internet marketers do not get overwhelmed by information and devise a system for managing their careers in marketing. He uses his analytical background to concentrate on optimizing keywords to optimize Pay-Per-Click Marketing as well as Search Engine Optimization.